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Georgian satirists

by Sherard Vines

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GEORGIAN SATIRISTSbySHERARD VINESPROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, HT71S,CONTENTSPAGESATIRES OF THE GEORGIAN ERA iEDWARD YOUNG..... 55RICHARD SAVAGE..... 76ROBERT DODSLEY..... 86CHRISTOPHER SMART..... 97CHARLES CHURCHILL 135ROBERT LLOYD..... 157CHRISTOPHER ANSTEY 168TEXTUAL NOTES...... 192SATIRES OF THE GEORGIAN ERAI. THE SATIRISTS POSITIONTHE art of the eighteenth century still depended, especially in the earlier part, largely on the demands andpurses of the aristocracy and the aristocracy were ingeneral becoming not merely richer, but more interested in beauty and erudition. Enlightenment wasperceptible in to take only some instances Lords Halifax, Burlington, Chesterfield, Shaftesbury of the Characteristics, Lyttleton of Hagley, and the unpopular Butewho discovered William later Sir William ChambersProduction of that art in increasing quantities wasnevertheless effected by a middle class moving gradually toward independence. From the beginning of thecentury men of culture congregated in clubs and coffeehouses, those republics of the arts and these associations persisted, from Addisons meetings with hisfriends at Buttons or the Bedford Head to Dr. Johnsonwho with Sir Joshua Reynolds founded the LiteraryClub in 1764, By Dr. Johnson one might measure theadvance towards literary emancipation and the consolidation of positions won since Pope had denigratedLord Hervey. Johnson, who repudiated the faintestsuspicion of patronage in the manner of Lord Newhaven vide BoswelPs Life, ann 1779, gave offence toLord Lyttletons friends by his free opinion of thatpeer, declared Bolingbroke to be a scoundrel and acoward, and observed, in reproving Chesterfield, thatche had never had a patron before.In Robert Walpoles day Young received a pension,though George II came to dislike him and evidently toregret the bounty, which had the Prince of Wales Jsanctionin itself a sufficient reason for his disgust andto anyone who mentioned Young to him, his Majestywould make the gloomy reply, He has a pension.George III was less oblivious than his two predecessorsof the national culture which was so foreign to theHanoverian dynasty. Johnson, somewhat late in theday, received a pension in 1762, and ineffectual attempts were even made to silence Peter Pindars malignant hilarity with a douceur by this time the burgessclass of author was, if one may cite these two as validexamples, becoming more intractable and classconscious. Yet the economic way to Parnassian freedomwas not seldom arduous Johnson had to borrow somefive guineas from Richardson to keep him from adebtors prison the more careless Lloyd was clapt in theFleet for a debtor cf. Churchills Independence, Boysewrote The Deity when in possession of no clothes excepta blanket with two armholes cut in it John CunningCf. his Life of Littleton, a brief and sometimes causticaccount, e.g. his last literary production was his History ofHenry II, ... published with such anxiety as only vanitycan dictate. See Churchills Night for a description of the miseries ofpatronhunting.



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